Law Professor Mark Denbeaux's most recent report, "The Government's Hostage: The Conviction and Execution of Ethel Rosenberg," was featured on Fox News, NPR's "Morning Edition," the New York Daily News, "Democracy Now" and the U.K.'s Daily Mail.
The report uncovered new evidence of "no evidence" in the famed espionage prosecution and ultimate execution of Ethel Rosenberg as students of The Seton Hall Law Center for Policy and Research discovered a July 1950 FBI memorandum that reports that the government realized it did not have enough evidence to arrest Ethel Rosenberg, but that she could be used as "leverage" to pressure her husband, Julius Rosenberg, into confessing and implicating others.
The report further notes that In January 1951, the US Attorney informed a Congressional Committee that Julius was a tough nut to crack and that the Prosecutor needed to severely threaten Ethel in order to make Julius cooperate. The prosecution seemed confident that the threat of severe punishment for his wife would produce that cooperation. The optimism was unfounded: Julius refused to talk, and the prosecution, having started down this road, promptly developed "evidence," in the form of continually evolving witness statements, that ultimately led to Ethel's execution.
After a painstaking investigation into the evidence against Ethel Rosenberg, the Seton Hall Law Center for Policy and Research concluded that the U.S. government's case against Ethel was basically nonexistent at the outset; even at trial, the continually shifting stories, reflected in the evolution of core witness statements, seriously undermine the credibility of the conviction.
Read the full release and report, "The Government's Hostage: The Conviction and Execution of Ethel Rosenberg."
- Fox News, "Legal scholars claim new evidence shows Ethel Rosenberg was innocent in infamous spy case"
- NY Daily News, "Feds used Ethel Rosenberg as leverage against Soviet spy husband, executed her with insufficient evidence: report"
- NPR's, "Morning Edition"
- U.K.'s Daily Mail, "Were the notorious Rosenbergs INNOCENT of Soviet spying? Law students reveal new evidence which 'could clear Cold War couple 63 years after they were executed'"